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Helix to Refinance Debt

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Offshore energy services provider, Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc. (HLX - Free Report) has entered into a new credit agreement to replace its soon to expire credit facility and fund the early redemption of a series of Senior Unsecured Notes. The early redemption of notes along with the new credit facility would lower the company’s cost of capital fuelling its growth plans towards well intervention and robotics businesses.

Helix has entered into a new credit agreement of $900 million with a syndicated bank lending group. Of the total, $600 million is a revolving credit facility and $300 million is a term loan. The revolving credit facility would replace the company’s existing credit facility expiring in Jul 2015. Simultaneously the term loan would fund the early redemption of $275 million of Senior Unsecured Notes.

Helix would redeem the aforementioned notes on Jul 22, 2013 dishing out a total call premium of $6.5 million and absorbing a non-cash charge of $8.7 million.

A consortium of subsidiaries of banking giants Bank of America Corporation (BAC - Free Report) , and Wells Fargo & Company (WFC - Free Report) are acting as the joint lead arrangers and joint book running managers of the new facilities. Bank of America will also serve as the administrative agent.

Houston, TX-based Helix Energy Solutions Group offers marine contracting services, apart from operating offshore oil/gas properties and production units. The company looks to add value to the clients’ energy assets by deploying vessels from its diverse portfolio of contracting fleet.

In the first quarter release on Apr 21, Helix delivered a positive 38.9% earnings surprise – the third outperformance in 4 quarters – propelled by strong customer demand for its services. Subsequently, shares of the energy services firm hit a 52-week high of $25.99 on May 20. In fact, Helix has already seen its stock climb some 50% during the past 12 months.

Following this price appreciation, any upside from here may be limited. As a result, Helix currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), implying that it is expected perform in line with the broader U.S. equity market over the next one to three months.

Meanwhile, one can look at Newpark Resources Inc. (NR - Free Report) as a good buying opportunity. This energy equipment service provider – sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) – has a solid secular growth story with the potential to rise significantly from current levels.

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